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Beyond Campus: Engaging Students in Sustainability, Resilience and Climate Policymaking
December 6 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ESTFree
In the aftermath of President Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris Agreement, universities, cities, states, and companies have stepped up to lead. A coalition representing fully half the U.S. population and economy traveled to the U.N. climate talks in Bonn to say: “We Are Still In.”
Former Mayor Bloomberg said, “If Washington won’t lead, then our mayors, governors, CEOs, and university presidents will.” Daniel Zarrilli, NYC Mayor DeBlasio’s climate policy chief, “We are now under no illusions that the federal government will solve the climate crisis for us. We have to step up ourselves and solve it.”
The crisis over the U.S. commitment to climate change action has opened a tremendous opportunity for sustainability education programs to lend support to cities enacting or strengthening climate action policies. Students can research, advocate for and even begin to implement policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change, increase resilience and become more sustainable.
In this dynamic webinar, two campus sustainability professionals who also held elected public office in Minnesota and in New York offer perspectives on to engage students with public officials and local organizations to develop policies and projects to make communities more resilient and sustainable.
Participants will discuss real world projects in the creative space where town meets gown and with an eye for the ways that justice meets environment, and protest meets policy change. Come away with ideas for developing student leadership beyond the campus and boosting your campus and community ambition to act on climate change. Policy tools developed with student input will be discussed, including city-level sustainability ordinances on topics from solar energy to native plants to permeable pavement, anti-fracking policies at city and state levels, the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program and the New York State Climate Action Plan.
Beth Mercer-Taylor, Sustainability Education Coordinator, University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
Beth Mercer-Taylor is the sustainability education coordinator at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She administers the Sustainability Studies Minor, an interdisciplinary, free-standing program with nearly 200 undergraduates enrolled. Her work involves recruiting and advising students, creating community-building activities, coordinating the efforts of the curriculum committee that oversees the minor’s academic program, and leading new initiatives related to sustainability on campus.
Dominic Frongillo, Co-founder, Elected Officials to Protect New York
Dominic Frongillo made history at age 22 by becoming the youngest person to serve on the Town Council in Caroline, New York. A six-time delegate to the United Nations, in 2012, Frongillo founded Elected Officials to Protect New York, organizing nearly 1,000 elected officials across the state to win New York’s statewide ban on fracking. Internationally recognized, Frongillo is trained by Al Gore, served under Governor Paterson to help draft New York’s Climate Action Plan, and is a national trainer for young political candidates. A finalist for the national Barbara Jordan Leadership Award, Frongillo appeared in the documentary Dear Governor Cuomo alongside Mark Ruffalo and Natalie Merchant. Frongillo speaks frequently on campuses across the country including Brown, Cornell, Colorado Springs, Furman, and Villanova with keynotes that inspire audiences with stories of ordinary people around the world making a difference on global challenges. Learn more at www.dominicfrongillo.com.